First it was a somewhat obscure 2004 movie that sold 32,000 tickets in France, then it became a French TV show that sold around the world and is being adapted into a U.S. series. Now, it’s getting the novelization treatment. Pan Macmillan has acquired worldwide publishing rights to The Returned (Les Revenants/Rebound) in a six-figure deal. Author Seth Patrick will develop two books based on storylines from the show’s first two seasons, although Season 2 won’t film until the second half of next year. Patrick wrote the supernatural horror/thriller trilogy Reviver, which was optioned by Legendary Entertainment. The first Returned novel will be published in the fall of 2014. A big hit on France’s Canal Plus, the series crossed the Channel to air in French with English subtitles in the UK and is also getting an original run in the U.S. on Sundance Channel – rare for a foreign-language program. A&E Network nabbed rights for an American remake to be developed as a co-production between A+E Studios and FremantleMedia North America. Deadline reported last month that Lost and Bates Motel‘s Carlton Cuse is in discussions about taking on the adaptation. The story focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, having not aged and unaware of their own fatality. READ MORE »
EXCLUSIVE: Hit French series The Returned (Les Revenants) is getting an American remake. A&E Network has nabbed rights to the supernatural/suspense drama, which will be developed as a co-production between A+E Studios and FremantleMedia North America. There is no writer in place but I hear the network is in discussions with Carlton Cuse, executive producer/co-showrunner of A&E’s breakout hit Bates Motel to take on the adaptation.
Created by Fabrice Gobert, Les Revenants was inspired by the 2004 feature film by the same name directed by Robin Campillo (English-language title They Came Back). It focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, having not aged and unaware of their own fatality. As they attempt to resume their lives, strange phenomena and gruesome murders begin to occur. “The Returned takes an incredibly unique approach, filled with suspense and twists and turns, to the subject of the living dead,” said A&E’s EVP and general manager David McKillop. Added FMNA CEO Thom Beers, “Having seen Fabrice Gobert’s original version and the success the series has had in France, we’re thrilled to be partnering with the team at A+E to bring this enigmatic thriller to U.S. audiences.”
Sarah Bolger extending her relationship with ABC with a lead role in the network’s single-camera comedy Mixology, directed by Larry Charles from a script by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. Set in the world of a sexy Manhattan bar, Mixology, from ABC Studios, chronicles the exploits of singles, five guys and five girls, in search of love — all over the course of one night. Bolger will play one of them, Janey, Jessica’s (Alexis Carra) sweet, naive, little sister from New Jersey. Tonight is her big night in the city and she is woefully unprepared for the aggressive Manhattan dating scene. CAA-repped Bolger recurs on ABC/ABC Studios’ Once Upon A Time as Princess Aurora last season starred in their Shonda Rhimes-produced pilot Gilded Lilys. The Tudors alumna toplines two indies that are yet to come out, Crush and Kiss Me.
Mark Hildreth has joined another ABC/ABC Studios pilot, drama The Returned, from Brillstein Entertainment, Brad Pitt’s Plan B and ABC Studios. Written by Aaron Zelman and directed by Charles McDougall, the project chronicles how the lives of the people in Arcadia are forever changed when their deceased loved ones return. Hildreth, repped by Untitled and SMS, will play Preacher Tom Hild, the local minister, who starts to question his beliefs when the dead start coming back.
Melissa George has been tapped for a lead role opposite Janet Montgomery in ABC’s drama pilot Gothica. Set in the present day, the project, created by Matt Lopez and exec produced by Mark Gordon and Nick Pepper of The Mark Gordon Co., weaves together a mythology that incorporates the legends of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray. It centers on journalist Grace Van Helsing (Janet Montgomery) who takes over her family’s hometown newspaper. George, repped by ICM Partners, 3 Arts and Smelkinson, will play Fiona Hunter, the series’ most formidable force, and everyone – from Grace, to Dorian (Chris Egan), to Victor Frankenstein (Tom Ellis) – will find their mettle and savvy tested by this deliciously cunning woman. Aussie George recently toplined Frank Spotnitz’s BBC/Cinemax series Hunted. While the series ended when BBC opted not to renew it, Ciinemax and Sportnitz have been plotting two-hour movies centered on George’s character, which has developed strong fan following.
Matt Craven has been cast in ABC’s drama pilot The Returned. The project, from Brillstein Entertainment, Brad Pitt’s Plan B and ABC Studios, is based on the upcoming novel by Jason Mott. Written by Aaron Zelman and directed by Charles McDougall, it chronicles how the lives of the people in Arcadia are forever changed when their deceased loved ones return. Craven will play Fred, the local Sheriff who has been a widower ever since his wife died in an accident 32 years ago. Craven, repped by Frontline Management’s Craig Dorfman and SDB Partners, recurs as Secretary of the Navy Clayton Jarvis on NCIS and just wrapped Roland Emmerich’s White House Down.